Our December Alumni Spotlight features Ashley Ackerman. Ashley was an amazing Chippewa camper and counselor who came to CRC from Cincinnati. Her love for Chippewa was quite apparent as she continued to return to CRC long after her Ten Year and even after she had an age group. Ashley was and remains an incredibly enthusiastic Chippy who just loves camp. Check out what Ashley had to say about camp below!
What years were you at CRC?
I attended camp from 1997-2005, 2008-2010, and an extended visit in 2011…
Which summer was your favorite and why?
The summer of 2003 was my favorite summer at CRC. We were finally CITs and my age group settled into various cabins and roles around camp. I saw our wacky age group suddenly evolve from this close-knit group of kids into leaders and role models for younger campers. I remember being fascinated by what wonderful counselors and teachers my friends were. I belted out “Suddenly, Seymour” as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, watched my Blackfoot campers win the lip sync to some Shrek mashup, and led the Legally TANS to a songfest victory — I will never forget those moments.
What is your favorite camp memory?
It is impossible to limit it to one. There are so many good memories that usually involve my age group just hanging out and laughing a lot.
What was your favorite activity at camp?
Tan & White.
Were you a Tan or a White?
Diehard TAN. Anyone who knows me well knows that I could never be a neutral.
How do you keep in touch with your camp friends?
Our age group remains extremely close to this day. This is truly remarkable considering we were a very diverse age group- originally from all across the country (Tucson to Cincinnati). We have an email chain that we use to send videos, articles, random thoughts and memories. Those of us who live in Chicago have monthly dinners, where we catch up and ensure our refusal to let go of Chippewa into adulthood.
Where do you live now?
Chicago! I came to visit from Florida for a Chippewa Alumni Trolley three years ago and never left.
What do you do?
I am currently an assistant teacher in a 1st grade classroom at The Latin School of Chicago and finishing my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University. I frequently run into former campers who are now in high school at Latin and we get to reminisce about the good old days.
What do you miss most about camp?
I miss the freedom of camp. I miss sailing on Dam Lake, singing “Come on Eileen” to make the boat go faster, standing on my chair in the mess hall, caring about Tan & White so much that it led me to tears, seven layer bars, pretty much all camp food, star gazing in the South Field, and having what seemed like all the time in the world with your best friends.